About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

T is for Ptobar's Pterosaurs n'Ptings

Just a quick follow-up from the I pay for this shite so you don't have to department; I mentioned when looking at 'paper' 'planes the other week that the discount store had several and that I might go back for a couple, well; I did!

I also said I couldn't remember what the third thing was . . . well, it was insects! Along with dinosaurs and the same 'planes as HGL and HTI, these are all badged to Tobar, and it turned out the Sikhs had got them in because I'd been asking for them a few days before . . . so I had to buy a few, although they were already going out like hot cakes with all three dispensers more than half empty, after only a few days.

Pterodactyl was purchased as the signature species! But three other designs are available and I would imagine they will be a lot of fun for people of a certain age? However . . . spot the deliberate mistake . . .

. . . you can't get the wings through the hole! To do so I had to carefully extend it without creating a cut-line that might spread, and one has to wonder how such a thing occurred or how it was allowed to leave the factory? And it's not a question of QA or QC, it's a technical problem 'at the coal face' . . . very odd!

The ant, I wanted a dragonfly, but they had all gone . . . verily - fussa-russa! But the ant's bearable, he has an odd tail-plane and stabilisers which I suspect are supposed to be a bit of foliage or something; there's no explanation, but the alternative (if you know about these things) is a brain altering, lethal fungus - hardly child-friendly?!!

The bee is just silly . . . and a near-duplicate of the ant (wings are different), while the two beetles are also cut from the same die, the mantis looks to be a cut-above and . . . I really would have preferred the dragonfly!

Back to the 'planes; I got the Hurricane Mk IIC . . . it might as well be a sausage. I think it's trying to be a Western desert theatre airframe, but suffers from the poor print resolution and reverse code bollocks I pointed-out last time we looked at them.

Now, along with the oddities alluded to above, this sort of think bloody annoys me . . . I know they are 'cheap and nasty' or pocket-money toys, but . . . the artwork was done once and costed-in, I suspect decades ago, and it's about time they were all upgraded/replaced. The overall cost would be peanuts in an ocean.

These are clearly selling well, and constantly as a 'traditional' toy, They are now in three outlets locally, in Basingrad I saw the HTI ones in the Entertainer, again with plenty of room in a once full stock-carton, so they are probably selling in their millions world-wide. They come in very basic paper envelopes (like Sobres), and consist of a few scraps of Styrofoam/expanded polystyrene (which will have to go back to balsa or card as the - overdue - polymer backlash gathers pace).

All-new artwork for the twelve/thirteen known aircraft could be CAD'ed-up in a weekend by a couple of commercial artists and the cost per unit, over time would be fractions of a penny. And there's a misrepresentation element here, under consumer legislation, the artwork on the outside of the envelopes is not depicting what falls out of them.

The problems are not to be seen on the dinosaurs, the insects or the foam-board/foam-core unicorns we saw last time, suggesting the war-planes are relying on print-plates which probably go back to the 1970's - come on guys, sort it out; you muppets! Get on to the Chinese supplier and tell them to sort-out the printing (and the insects wings) before some local authority's Trading Standards unit sues you!


tomholio said...

I've been pushing the planes to my nephew, hoping they'll be a gateway to a proper airfix habit as he gets older.
With the ground crew providing sellotape repairs, we get about 30 minutes play per plane, before its utterly destroyed. He enjoys both the flying and carnage. Doesn't care about the squadron code or shape issues - these four year olds, wot are they like?!!

Hugh Walter said...

Shockingly casual by the sounds of it!!! Cheers Tomholio!

We used to fly them out to sea and wait for them to be washed-back ashore!